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Playdates and Partnerships: Why Childcare Centers Should Join the Community Fun

playdates and partnerships

In the bustling world of childcare centers, where laughter echoes through colorful playrooms and learning is as much a part of the daily routine as snack time, there’s a hidden secret waiting to be uncovered. It’s time for childcare centers to step out from behind the safety gates and cribs and dive headfirst into the vibrant heart of their communities. In this blog, we’ll explore why we should consider joining local chambers of commerce and getting involved in community activities.

  1. Building Stronger Bonds: Childcare centers are more than just places where children spend their days; they are integral parts of the community. By joining local chambers of commerce, childcare centers can foster stronger connections with businesses, residents, and other community organizations. It’s not just about daycare; it’s about building a network of support and collaboration.
  2. Little Ambassadors: Imagine a group of adorable toddlers in matching T-shirts, proudly representing their childcare center at community events. Childcare centers can turn their little charges into ambassadors, showcasing the positive impact they have on families and the community. This not only boosts the center’s visibility but also creates a sense of pride among staff and parents.
  3. Fun Fundraisers: Who says fundraisers have to be dull and serious? Childcare centers can bring a burst of joy to community fundraising events. Organize fun activities like face painting, mini-petting zoos, or toddler talent shows. Not only will these events raise funds, but they’ll also create lasting memories for everyone involved.
  4. Sharing the Love: Childcare centers are treasure troves of creativity and enthusiasm. By participating in community events, centers can share their expertise and resources. Whether it’s hosting a parenting workshop or offering a “Storytime in the Park” session, childcare centers can contribute valuable services that benefit the entire community.
  5. Strengthening Educational Ties: Childcare centers are natural allies for local schools and educational institutions. By actively participating in community events and partnering with schools, childcare centers can strengthen the bridge between early childhood education and the formal education system. This collaboration can lead to exciting opportunities for both children and educators.

Here at Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we are confident we’ve mastered the art of community engagement.  We interviewed a few of our Family Liaisons to get the inside scoop on what’s what in communities and WHY!  We also have some recognition to give to them for amazing awards, partnerships, and chairs they serve in our communities across the Midwest.

Meet Betsy Martin – Family Liaison in Minnesota (Plymouth, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Prior Lake, Lakeville, Maple Grove)
Voted Volunteer of the Year for Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce & Co-Chair of the Young Professionals Group

What Chamber of Commerce/Organization are you most actively engaged in?

Only the coolest chamber around… The Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce in Minnesota!

How has being a part of the chamber/organization impacted you personally and professionally?

My confidence in networking has grown in my time with the chamber. I have been able to give guidance to others in turn and encourage new members to join expanding our network. Through natural conversation I have been able to establish great personal and professional relationships with other chamber members allowing me to bring their skills into our schools!

What are your future plans with this group?

Right now, I am the co-chair of the Young Professionals Network. I plan to keep guiding the group to success in the following years. The point we try to make in the young professionals network is that our group is not at all bound by age. Instead; we are instilling skills and confidence in new networkers, learning from professionals with established skills that took years to perfect, and building a network of new faces in business that have been around for a while! We each have a role in our group that leans heavily on our individual talents. From communication to event planning, we are one growing network without an end in sight!!

Who have you most enjoyed helping or look forward to helping in the future?

This year, I am REALLY excited to help with the Twin Cities Young Professionals Conference in October. However, I am currently enjoying putting on monthly Lunch and Learns that we are calling “Bites of Knowledge”. These lunch and learns are a round-table styled conversation where every person participating gives input, asks questions, and learns from one another based on our monthly topic!

Would you encourage those in your industry to engage in community activities? Why or Why not?

Absolutely! I recommend joining a community group at any level and regardless of profession. Engaging in your community gives you a new appreciation for your community and a new outlook on where you can specifically give back. Every town, city, county, etc. can benefit from engaged community members becoming involved! In our industry, we have the knowledge of Early Childhood Education, and I am able to bring that with me to every meeting and in every new connection. In turn, I am able to learn about other industries and then offer guidance when parents in any industry have questions about preschools and childcare! It is a win-win building these community connections!!

Meet Rachel Gai – Family Liaison in Des Moines, IA
Marketing Chair for West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce

rachel gai ybr

What Chamber of Commerce/Organization are you most actively engaged in?

I’m most engaged in the West Des Moines and Grimes Chamber. 

How has being a part of the chamber/organization impacted you personally and professionally?

Being part of the chamber has helped me network with likeminded people in my area. It has allowed me to have great conversations with people and start building relationships that can help me grow personally and professionally. It also allowed me to learn more about all the cool things happening in our communities and how I can give back!

What are your future plans with this group?

This year I am the Marketing Chair for the DEI Workplace Excellence Award Show with the West Des Moines chamber. This award show showcases businesses and people doing meaningful work for others. My goal is to learn more about how we can create an inclusive work environment at YBR through different initiatives. I believe every family, no matter their background, culture, and socio-economic status, deserves safe and affordable care. 

Who have you most enjoyed helping or look forward to helping in the future?

I look forward to helping underrepresented families and children in Iowa. The first 5 years of a child’s life are critical for their development. As a Family Liaison, it is really important for me to advocate for families who do not have a voice. By using my voice, I can provide support to those who need it. Parents deserve to work and provide for their families without questioning the quality of childcare they are receiving. They also deserve someone to listen to their problems and find reasonable solutions for them.

Would you encourage those in your industry to engage in community activities? Why or Why not?

100% YES! Engaging in your community is the best way to learn about its wants and needs. It is also a great way to give back to those less fortunate.

Engaging in community activities allows you to build relationships with others in and outside your industry. Which can lead to new connections, partnerships and collaborations that can benefit our centers, the childcare industry, and the community. 

It is also good for visibility and reputation. Participating in events and volunteering can enhance our brand image and let people know we are invested in the well-being of our community. 

In addition to that, there is SO much to learn from people from diverse backgrounds and industries. Engaging in the community can spark innovation and introduce fresh perspectives that ultimately benefit the childcare industry as a whole.

Meet Kristin Byers – Family Liaison in Omaha and Bennington, NE
Board Member for Bennington Chamber of Commerce

kristin byers ybr

What Chamber of Commerce/Organization are you most actively engaged in?

I am actively involved in the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Millard Business Association and Bennington Chamber of Commerce

How has being a part of the chamber/organization impacted you personally and professionally?
As a business owner and an employee, I’ve grown professionally with networking opportunities and self improvement events that will help me grow into a better leader and coworker.  I’ve had the opportunity to attend many events that would not be considered my area of expertise, and it’s been soooo much fun to learn and grow unexpectedly!

What are your future plans with this group?

As a current Board Member for the Bennington Chamber of Commerce, I plan to add value into the community with social events, like our golf outing, Founder’s Day, Bennington Daze, and Lunch & Learns.  I’d love to see all of our local chambers continue to work together for city betterment, because together, we really are better!

Who have you most enjoyed helping or look forward to helping in the future?

I honestly want to help our local families the most!  As someone who grew up in this area, I believe whole heartedly that one person can make a difference, but it takes a lot to make a change.  Working with these organizations doing parades, booths, family fun events, and more is such a blessing to me that I can hardly wait to help be a tiny part of the impact and longevity of a positive community.

Would you encourage those in your industry to engage in community activities? Why or Why not?
I cannot express how much I’d recommend engaging!  Head out to some fun farmer’s markets, parades, town halls, and more.  Join the fun, help the friends, do the things.  I truly think there is no drawback to community involvement and serving your peers.

So, there you have it – a compelling case for childcare centers to pack up their building blocks and join the community fiesta. By becoming active members of local chambers of commerce and diving into community events, childcare centers can turn their spaces into hubs of connection, support, and joy. After all, when it comes to community involvement, childcare centers are not just watching the little ones grow; they’re nurturing the growth of entire communities. Let the adventures begin!